Alexis Brooks, 28, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after two cars struck her as she was crossing the street. According to a KABC news report, the fatal car accident occurred the night of July 23, 2012 near the intersection of Western Avenue and 108th Street. Police say Brooks was crossing the street when she was hit by a car and then thrown into another car traveling in the opposite direction.
The driver of the first car, 37-year-old Kathleen Knox, got out of her car. At the time, someone pulled a gun a started firing at her. Knox then got back in the car and called 911. Eyewitnesses have apparently corroborated her account. The second driver also talked to the police. Authorities have not been able to locate the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at 323-820-6700.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of Alexis Brooks for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 179 fatalities and 4,918 injuries involving pedestrian collisions in Los Angeles County. Also, countywide, car accidents claimed 554 lives and injured 50,817 people during the same year.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it is not clear where Brooks was crossing the roadway. Under California law, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Fault and Liability
In this case, if Knox is determined to have been at fault, she could be held liable for Brooks’ wrongful death. A knowledgeable Los Angeles County personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.